It’s not a shock, but Tiger Woods is returning to golf.
Woods announced this morning he’ll play in this year’s Masters (April 8-11) after missing all of the first three months of the PGA Tour while dealing with personal issues.
The return makes sense for Woods in a number of ways. First, of course, is the fact that he’s won four times at Augusta National. Next, with the event run by the club itself and not the TOUR, the amount of media on hand can be regulated by the folks in charge. In other words, the likes of TMZ, Radaronline, etc. will be given the “Drew treatment” by the Augusta National powers-that-be…their credentials will be withheld this April.
With only recognized sports/golf media permitted on the hallowed grounds of Augusta, the likelihood that Woods will be harrassed or otherwise distracted by a gossip site/magazine are greatly reduced.
From the standpoint of competing, the site makes a lot of sense since Woods is extremely familiar with the facility. Add to that the fact that all past major champions playing in the event are entitled to unlimited access starting on March 8 and it makes even more sense. Woods can retreat to Augusta today, tomorrow, next Tuesday, etc. and practice without interruption or fear of being chased by the media.
Last but not least, the on-course behavior of the “patrons” (as they’re called at Augusta…not “fans”) is strictly monitored during both practice rounds and the four days of competition. Anyone on site violating any of the printed rules on the back of the admission ticket is quickly shoved outside of the gates. Well, no one is “shoved”, per-se. They’re just casually walked out with a firm reminder that they won’t be on the welcome list in 2011 and beyond.